Sunday, December 19, 2010

Forbidden Places by Penny Vincenzi

I wanted to like this book for two reasons. 1. The publisher sent it to me, in a lovely hardback (I want to note the hardback part underneath the cover is PINK!!!) 2. I have read this author previously and found her work enjoyable for the most part. However, I didn't like this novel and I must be honest.

Quick summary: The book follows three women, Grace, Florence, and Clarissa. Grace is marrying a man "above her station" who is the brother of Florence. Florence is stuck in an abusive marriage (personally, I think she just didn't have the balls to leave.. but.. ) and Clarissa used to be engaged to Grace's husband. World War II comes and the men leave.. and these three women either grow up, have affairs, have babies and ponder who the daddy is, take in country evacuees, or work for the WRENs. Lots of drama and very soap opera like.

What I liked: The style is very similar to that of Catherine Cookson.

What I hated: Grace.. Until page 500, she has no balls at all, no courage. She just does what her husband tells her, sits there quietly, la de da. One point in her favor: She keeps the kids despite her husband's demand she not. (Read the book, I'm not explaining all 500 pages.. )

Florence... ugh! Any woman that stays in an abusive marriage, has a baby and tells two separate men they are the fathers, lies through her teeth left and right, deserves to be slapped around!

Clarissa... I liked her just fine (except for all her "darling this" and "darling that") until her husband gets badly maimed in the war and she whines that he looks repulsive and acts like his life is over cause he is OMG! UGLY! (gasp!)

And I'm leaving it at that. One point in this book's favor though: the WWII details. I really felt I was in England during that trying time. The book does not lack realism or historical facts.

Overall, a disappointment for me. I didn't like the women at all. Two stars.


  1. It sounds like the women are acting as would be expected from that era. I usually enjoy Penny Vincenzi but I haven't read this one - I'll have to keep my eye out for it.

    I like your blog very much - I'll come back when I have more time and have a browse through your posts.

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